Une belle aventure

Our new life in 'Les Vosges'

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A little D.I.Y: Vogelzang & Wallpaper

The Vogelzang got a new lease of life en’Rouge et Noir’. So we scrubbed it and painted it in red ready for hours and hours of wood burning this winter.


Sympa the wallpaper! So we started taking it off and Cooper helped out as well. Well kind of…



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A couple of little improvements also in June

Old houses do suffer from poor drainage and it doesn’t help that the drain under our utility sink was just open. So finally the smell has gone. (except when it rains!?!) but still it is an improvement. 😉
We are also now able to properly lock and unlock our front door. We got fed up with the door locking itself up behind us when we closed it. It’s just lucky that there’s usually an other open door somewhere in the house.
We disposed of our old radiators. A couple went to the scrap yard and we got 12 euros for it. Yay. Our good friend Hubert got he other two. ‘hoarding are we?’….Hehe Matt finally got to have a peek inside ‘his Café’** when he took them there. And to be honest he was doing us a huge favour as without his help we couldn’t even move them out of the house. (** Matt used to dream of getting this Café until he saw the inside….)
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Matt’s Quad broke down so it was out of action for a little while, until he received the part and was able to repair it. In the meantime, Franky came to the rescue and lent him his ride on mower. I couldn’t help smiling and took a photo. The thought of him mowing the whole field on that was pretty funny. Luckily he was only doing a small section.
As this photo demonstrate, this month Matt has also improved his French. (I’d like that one, and that one, and that one….)
This is Matt the night before he went to Nancy with the school. A whole 10 hours day trip with 10 and 11 years old. That photo could have been taken the following day as well. Hahaha he was pretty shattered but had a great day and really got to improve his French by telling them off! When in Rome. 😉

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The backroom’s make over has started

The first job was to take off the old wood flooring. Needless to say that it was the perfect job for ‘Wreck-It Randle’ and he loved it!!!
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Rhys also helped out.
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Striking some poses. 😉
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Just as well we’re planning a MASSIVE bonfire soon!
Then our happy chaps came back and did the floor. So we moved into one room for a few days. it almost felt like being back in the mobile home. lol
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The floor in the kitchen isn’t level and when we told them that it was okay, we’d got used to it and didn’t plan on getting it levelled, they looked at us in a strange way…Guess we are a little strange but we love this house because it is quirky so it’s a bit pointless rectifying all of its quirkiness!
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They also took out the beam above the window as it was…well just take a look…pretty rotten!
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The kids can now use that room as a play room. We’ve moved the ping pong table in it as well. So next the window, the walls and the ceiling, oh and also trying to remove this humongous radiator and taking it to the metal dealer….

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Once upon a time in April 2015

Matt regained his beloved garage, he just had to clear it first! lol
Removing those beams by himself took a little ingenuity and planning. Out into the garden they went.
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Our favourite builders (which are actually back next week) left us to clear the upstairs. Fair enough guys, we did agree we would do it. Still there were a rather large amount of stones to move….where to though? Well the back garden and as for the rubble, we decided to store it in one of those fantastic orange bags, to be used for hardcore in the floor for the back room.
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Matt also found Sputnik-1! 😉

Getting all the stones down ‘Randle’s style’! ….and another trip to the dump.
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The stones made their way to the back garden and then we had to think what to do with all of them, they found their place around the bath. Perfect!
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Both Saf and Rhys were ill. It is pretty cool though that we don’t have to argue and fight anymore as to who would take time off to look after them as we’re actually both here!

They both caught colds later on in the month, we introduced them to this. 😉
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We (well Matt) have started cutting our firewood and will be spending most of May there. Some trees have fallen in some really awkward places and Matt got told off (in a nice way) for not asking for help to move the trees up (as some are in a ditch). How are we to know! Next year can only be easier.
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Matt carried on a bit more with some painting.
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House-wise we carried on with a few jobs, besides the shower. Since we had installed the second electricity box for the hot water tank, we were also able to connect the radiator and add some plugs in Rhys’ bedroom. We actually finished off that room, all painted and floor treated. I must say that it’s a pretty good feeling to actually finish off a room completely. This also meant that we were able to move in…like the olden’ days…all in the same room. And so far it’s working out fine. 😉
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Wreck-It Randle has been….wrecking stuff again

We deliberated a lot about the bathroom and if we were going to keep the bath first of all. Although I am desperate to have a good bath, that one was quite damaged and actually fairly small.
So out with the bath. Rhys did help (for a tiny bit).

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And a couple more trips to the ‘Decheterie’. The guys there are always happy to see us and we have a good chat with them,. Nice to keep on good terms, especially as they’re more than happy to keep a look out and put stuff aside for us! 😉 (don’t tell anyone) (Notice those bags are just amazing and come in handy time and time again)
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The shower: the wall needed re-building, the pipes needed changing, we also needed to check the drain. The plan was that only the base would then remain and building around it seemed a lot more difficult than getting a new shower unit. Although shower units are fairly pricey. To our rescue, comes our local DIY store and an ex-display shower delivered for under 300€ : Deal.
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Shall we keep the wall? Nah, it’s pretty rotten and damp so out with the wall as well.
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Matt took the ‘horrific’ toilet out. Yay! And we’ll put the hot water tank in that cupboard.

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Matt dug the drain for the new toilet.
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Cutting the old drain. And our friendly builders are back so I asked if they wouldn’t mind concreting our drain, which they are doing now. Awesome!
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So we finally have a decent toilet in the house, with a manual flush! 😉

And here is Wreck-It Randle in action: :)) Enjoy

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Wrecking-it on a bigger scale

The builders ‘The Cornite Brothers’ were due to start in the New Year, once the carpenters had finished their work. So we had no time to waste and had to clear the garage completely and Matt had to take all the wooden floor boards out.
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In true ‘Matt & Mu’ style we still had loads of stuff to move when the builders turned up. In our defense, in true ‘French Builders’ style they never really told us the exact date they will start. “if you see us in the morning then that means we’re working here’. lol It reminds me of all those restoration abroad type TV programs. Just as well we don’t have a tight schedule. We’ve learned to adapt and make the most of the sunshine some days….
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Not bad for someone who is scared of heights! 😉
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We shall be re-using them, as they are ‘oak beams’ and pretty strong. For the moment, let’s just store them….over there.

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Peeling off another layer….quite literally

We had to clean the beams in the kitchen at some point or another. We had tried a few times before with different cleaning products. (we actually tried everything under the sun). Until we discovered (thanks to Eric) Saint Marc and its amazing power!!!

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So after a couple of days of scrubbing.

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And because I already had a neck ache from doing the beams, I decided to clean the ceiling of the front room too.

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While Matt pulled the place apart. 😉

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Taking the meters and meters of phone cable down. (they went all the way round, then up and back down!)